King Named Co-Chair of School Finance Task Force for Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute

November 13, 2009

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Against the backdrop of a bleak fiscal picture in California, the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute (TCCRI) announced nine issue-specific Task Forces to examine the unfolding disaster in California and to build on the success of state polices in Texas. State Representative Phil King (R-Weatherford) has been named as the Co-Chair of the School Finance Task Force.

King, who also sits on the board of the Texas Conservative Coalition, the Conservative Caucus of the Texas House of Representatives, explained, “The School Finance Task Force will focus on the current school finance structure in Texas and how to improve the current system. We will specifically be looking at the property tax system which is the main source of funding for our public schools and how to make the system better.”

“The property tax system has led to three decades of school finance litigation in which the Supreme Court has repeatedly declared the system unconstitutional and has urged the legislature to ‘choose a new path’ of revenue for public schools,” King stated, “Our current property tax system cannot properly fund public schools, and it is overly burdensome on property owners – 17 percent of an average home mortgage is paid to property tax. Our task force is committed to coming up with a feasible and workable solution to this huge issue that faces Texas.”

Task Forces are the backbone of the Institute’s research and education efforts. Based on the conservative principles that underpin TCCRI, the Task Forces will develop legislative leaders and sound public policy ideas to assist the Legislature in keeping Texas an example of success for the rest of the nation to follow. The 2009-2010 TCCRI Task Forces include: State Budget, Property Tax & School Finance, Economic & Workforce Development, and Insurance. Each Task Force will be co-chaired by Senators and Representatives who have the insight and leadership skills in their respective areas of expertise to keep Texas on the right path.